How can you practise your English regularly if you don’t live in an English-speaking country?
Regular speaking practice is essential to stay fluent in English. When you speak regularly, you’re more likely to remember vocabulary and phrases (especially if they’re new words and phrases) and you also get the chance to keep practising the pronunciation.
So, regular practice helps you be prepared for speaking situations – which means you’ll feel more confident and relaxed.
But, unless you’re already taking English classes, it’s difficult to find ways to practise. If you’re also a busy person, finding the time can be a problem.
So here are five simple activities that give you a way to speak English. These activities will increase your confidence and can be done in a short period of time.
1. Start an informal speaking club
Involve your friends or colleagues in English discussion. Two ideas you can use for this are a book club or a film club. Choose a film that you can all watch, or a book that you all want to read. Then invite people to discuss it. Many books have “Book Club Questions” already provided in the back of the book, or you can also prepare questions for the film.
2. Volunteer to help
If you have a few spare hours every week, you can help children with their English homework. Or you can help your town with English-speaking tourists, or your company with English-speaking visitors.
Don’t worry that your English isn’t “good enough”. Most of the time, people are delighted to get offers of help – especially when it comes to helping out with English. You can take on small projects to begin with to build up your confidence.
3. Play a character in a film
This is a great activity to do alone or with a friend. Choose a film and then a character from the film. You’re going to be that character. Then choose a scene from the film where your character speaks. Listen to the dialogue in that scene and try to remember it. Then, play the scene again. This time, mute the volume when your character speaks, with you speaking your character’s dialogue.
Two more tips:
– Watch the scene as many times as you need
– Choose a scene with a small amount of dialogue
– Try to add emotion and feeling when you speak
4. Learn to do something in English
YouTube is full of tutorials on how to do almost anything. Instead of looking for tutorials in your own language, look for them in English. Then follow along (repeating after the instructor) so that you get to use the right vocabulary – and copy natural intonation and pronunciation.
5. Talk to yourself
If you don’t have any friends or family to talk to in English, then talk to yourself!
It sounds strange, but it’s great practice. You can talk to yourself in front of a mirror, or in your car when you have a few spare moments. You can talk about anything – what you are planning to do that day, what your opinion is, or simply to “narrate” your day and say what’s happened. When you “think aloud” like this, you’ll get a good idea of any English vocabulary gaps, or difficult words to pronounce.
Over to you
What’s your favourite speaking practice activity? Let me know in the comments!
Do you need to speak English professionally? Let me help you.